\ ˈwelth also ˈweltth How to pronounce wealth (audio) \

Definition of wealth

1 : abundance of valuable material possessions or resources
2 : abundant supply : profusion
3a : all property that has a money value or an exchangeable value
b : all material objects that have economic utility especially : the stock of useful goods having economic value in existence at any one time national wealth
4 obsolete : weal, welfare

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Examples of wealth in a Sentence

a nation that has acquired great wealth someone whose sole goal is the accumulation of wealth Her personal wealth is estimated to be around $10 billion. What percentage of the national wealth is spent on health care? I was impressed by the wealth of choices. Libraries offer a wealth of information.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Oregon shared the wealth on this night, with 11 different players scoring the 11 touchdowns. oregonlive, "Ducks dominate: Describe Oregon Ducks’ lopsided victory against Nevada," 7 Sep. 2019 During a new interview with Ellen DeGeneres, Kylie Jenner revealed that her famous siblings do like to tease her a bit about her notoriously massive wealth. Kayleigh Roberts, Marie Claire, "Kylie Jenner's Siblings Tease Her About Being a Billionaire, Apparently," 7 Sep. 2019 At the very beginning of this nation, Black people [were considered to be] three-fifths human, women could not vote, and communities that didn't have wealth were basically left out. Seamus Kirst, Teen Vogue, "Stacey Abrams Wants You To Know That Politicians Are Trying To Keep You From Voting," 6 Sep. 2019 For decades, working families have been told not to worry about the growing wealth gap between the nation’s haves and have-nots. Los Angeles Times, "Column: Trickle-down theory is a monstrous lie intended to justify the rich getting richer," 20 Aug. 2019 At the other end of the show’s wealth gap, Dan Humphrey (Penn Badgley) lives in (gasp) Brooklyn, which is another universe to most of the characters on Gossip Girl. Ilana Kaplan, Curbed, "Why we’re obsessed with the TV teen bedroom," 14 Aug. 2019 His campaign has emphasized efforts to address the legacy of slavery, including the racial wealth gap and other inequities. Daniela Altimari, courant.com, "Reparations for slavery emerge as issue among Democrats running for president," 8 Aug. 2019 The large, loud dining room overlooks the Intracoastal and the scenery (displays of wealth in various forms) is sure to entertain. Michael Mayo, sun-sentinel.com, "8 picks for great meal deals during Fort Lauderdale restaurant months," 31 July 2019 Warren has plans to reduce black maternal mortality, close the racial wealth gap and give $50 billion to historically black colleges and universities. Lissandra Villa/detroit, Time, "The Second Democratic Debates Could Be All About Trump's Racist Tweets," 31 July 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'wealth.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of wealth

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 4

History and Etymology for wealth

Middle English welthe, from wele weal

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Dictionary Entries near wealth


Weald, The






Statistics for wealth

Last Updated

12 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for wealth

The first known use of wealth was in the 13th century

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Financial Definition of wealth

What It Is

In the business world, wealth is a measure of financial resources.

How It Works

Wealth is usually a measure of net worth; that is, it is a measure of how much a person has in savings, investments, real estate and cash, less any debts. For example, let's say John Doe has a $700,000 house, a car worth $20,000, a medical practice worth $400,000, and $5,000 in a checking account. Added together, these assets may be worth a whopping $1,125,000, but if John Doe is $300,000 in debt from medical school and owes $650,000 on the house, $15,000 on credit cards and $15,000 on the car, his net worth (the assets minus these liabilities) falls to about $145,000. In other words, if he were to sell everything today and pay off all his debts, he would have only $145,000 that would truly be all his.

Why It Matters

Income is routinely mistaken for wealth. For example, if John Doe's income is $250,000 per year, some people might say John is "wealthy." However, if John's mortgage, car payments, student loans from medical school, medical bills for his child, and private school tuition for his other child consume most of his monthly income, he may not have much left for saving at the end of the month. Consequently, John may have a nice house, but he has virtually nothing saved up for retirement, college, or emergencies. That is, he may have a high income, but he is not "wealthy" because he owns little of the things in his life.

Source: Investing Answers



English Language Learners Definition of wealth

: a large amount of money and possessions
: the value of all the property, possessions, and money that someone or something has
: a large amount or number


\ ˈwelth How to pronounce wealth (audio) \

Kids Definition of wealth

1 : a large amount of money or possessions
2 : a great amount or number a wealth of ideas

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More from Merriam-Webster on wealth

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with wealth

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for wealth

Spanish Central: Translation of wealth

Nglish: Translation of wealth for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of wealth for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about wealth

Comments on wealth

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to make a temporary encampment

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